In the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia’s sudden death, there’s been much speculation as to who Barack Obama might appoint to his position. Apparently, there’s a heavy favorite, and it’s not who anybody expected, but will undoubtedly mean trouble for our country.
A leading Supreme Court analyst first said that he believes Ninth Circuit Judge Paul Watford would be Obama’s prime choice, but Tom Goldstein, owner of SCOTUSblog, has since changed his tune. According to NBC News, Goldstein now believes that the current attorney general would be the “most likely candidate” for Obama to choose.
Goldstein said that Loretta Lynch is a “very serious possibility” for Obama, noting that she has several things working in her favor, and the president could use political gamesmanship to force Republicans’ hand in confirming her.
“The fact that Lynch was vetted so recently for attorney general also makes it practical for the president to nominate her in relatively short order,” wrote Goldstein.
On the same day that news broke about Scalia’s death, several high-profile Republican senators said they would do everything possible to block Obama’s nominee because they think it should be left to the next elected president. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, also said that he would do the same out of fear that whoever Obama nominated would undoubtedly tilt the courts to the left.
However, Goldstein believes that Republicans would have a hard time opposing Lynch for the seat. He said that her “history as a career prosecutor makes it very difficult to paint her as excessively liberal,” even though her decisions in which cases to prosecute have directly reflected her ideology, and he believes that Democrats would pull the race card.
Another thing working in her favor is the fact that she would be the first black woman ever nominated to the nation’s highest Court, and we all know how much Obama loves “firsts.” But if Republicans refused to consider her nomination, it would give Obama and his Democrats plenty of rhetoric to spew on the campaign trail, as Goldstein noted.
“I think the administration would relish the prospect of Republicans either refusing to give Lynch a vote or seeming to treat her unfairly in the confirmation process,” Goldstein wrote. “Either eventuality would motivate both black and women voters.”
If Goldstein is right about Obama tapping Lynch for the position, then it’s not too far-fetched to believe that the political games would happen almost immediately. After all, after seven years into his presidency and countless policy disputes, Obama still loves to play the race card, so it definitely stands to reason he would do the same, should Lynch get his nomination.
What do you think, would Obama actually tap Lynch for the nomination? Lord, I hope not.